Create for Yourself
This is a sketch of my house. And my car. Drawn by a 49 year old (me!) whose ability to draw to scale or dimension hasn’t changed since she was 9. Because evidently my driveway leads right to my front door. Or my car is parked on the walkway. You decide.
I’ll wait while you finish laughing.
Recently, the desire to draw has been strong. So has the story in my head. You know the one that sounds like this:
- You can’t draw
- You’re creative but not in that way
- Everyone else in the family (mom, dad, sister, niece, nephew, husband) got that skill except me.
Doesn’t mean I’m not creative. Simply means I can’t draw well.
Kick in the Pants
A few weeks ago, during a late Summer family get together, my nephew Andrew starting showing us some of his drawings. He’s been exploring digital art and he’s quite good.
I mentioned my desire as well as my “lack of skill” story. You know what Andrew said?
“Just go for it!”
That simple phrase was the kick in the pants I needed to stop procrastinating. That night, back at home, I pulled out some colored pencils and an old sketchbook (my husbands) and turned to a blank into the sketch above.
“No one has to see it!” I gleefully told my husband.
The burst of energy gave me confidence! So, I pulled up a picture of my cat, Luli, and sketched her face. I couldn’t stop! Next, I found an instructional book (again belonging to my husband) and tried my hand at shadows. See image below.
I took pictures of the sketches and texted my nephew, thanking him for the inspiration.
He wrote back, “Nice job. Your shadows are better than mine! LOL.”
The next day I went to Staples and bought my own sketchbook. It’s used near daily.
You know what I’ve learned through all of this?
- I don’t need to draw well to draw
- No one needs to see my drawings. Unless I want them to.
- I can create for the sake of creating.
- I can create only for me.
Take the Pressure Off
See, for the past 16 years, until I gave up my business and got a job, everything I created – books, blogs, newsletters, events, workshops, etc – was designed with others in mind. Because of that, the end result, the actual creation, needed to be the absolute best it could be.
The pressure to create and perform was on.
But not anymore. By letting go of the need to draw well or the need share everything I create, the pressure is off. Liberating, grounding, freeing, exciting are some of the words I’d use to describe the feeling behind the action.
You know what else doesn’t need to be shared once created?
- The rough first draft of a book or speech
- The first video made for TikTok (make a 2nd or 3rd!)
- A business plan created for a big dream
- The poem written out of the blue
- Blog posts, social media updates, angry letters or reviews
- New cooking or baking creations
- The one-woman show (wait is that just me?)
Of course, if you do choose to share, you may or may not decide to edit and revise. The beauty is we each get to decide what, how, when and who.
The point is creativity is human. Our creations don’t have to be good to be valuable. Do an online search for “creativity and mental health” and you’ll find a number of studies suggesting creativity improves mental health. (Or simply click the link. I searched for you.)
While my sketches may not look great (yet!), I feel great drawing them. And that’s what matters.
So, tell me, what will you create? (Or don’t tell me. You don’t have to share, remember?)
Either way, your creations matter. Keep shining.
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